everyday inspiration

Summer

10 Things I Learned in Italy

  1. Never, ever, ever, hold a wine glass by the top, only by the stem. Or get seriously called out by a sommelier.
  2. Italians only drink with food. They don’t go out for a drink at happy hour without something to snack on, and they certainly don’t just sit on their couch binge-watching tv shows with wine. Hmm…..
  3. Ciao is hello, not goodbye. Americans incorrectly turned it into goodbye. (According to our very opinionated bar tour host)
  4. Under no circumstances should you get off of a train, unless you want to stay off of that train. Not to smoke a cigarette, and certainly not to get a taxi.
  5. I CAN get sick of pasta + pizza. (Actually surprising) But I can NOT get sick of good wine. (Not really that surprising.)
  6. And I DO like seafood when it’s extra fresh – like mussels and scampi and anchovies and scallops and swordfish
  7. Spontaneous tears of joy are a real thing.
  8. A meal or even just a cappuccino is not something to be rushed through or as “take-away”, but to be enjoyed leisurely. The 3-hour dinner was a common and wonderful occurrence.
  9. Air conditioning is non-negotiable. Especially when you’re walking 10 miles/day in 90+ degree humid heat.
  10. Travel can make or break a friendship. Luckily, ours was the former and only made us even closer.

Picturebook posts of our amazing Italian vacation to come soon!

xo xo

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life lately

[celebrating this || a cousin’s wedding]

[eating this || amazing food at wednesday over water]

[loving this || chihuly exhibit + anniversary weekend]

[enjoying this || patio time with the sistahs]

[cuddling with this || adorable little girl for a morning!]

[saying this || CIAO, AMERICA!

because now we’re headed to Italy! follow our travels on #AldermansGoGlobal]

xo xo

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Discover NWA: Staycation at 21c + Chihuly

For our 6th anniversary, we decided to do a staycation at 21c. Since we’re going to Italy very soon, we didn’t want to travel far or spend too much. We’ve also talked about staying at 21c since it opened, so we decided to go for it. And I am SO glad we did. It was exactly what we needed for a little one-night getaway. Luckily, we also got invited to the special opening of the new Chihuly exhibit at Crystal Bridges and it was absolutely incredible. (Thank you, Denise!)

[beautiful, super cozy room – and my sweet coworkers surprised us with champagne!]

[a few photos from the night below – though I HIGHLY encourage you to check it out yourself!]


[chihuly in the forest – there was even a wine tent out there!
wonderful night with these fun friends]

[chihuly in the gallery – and husband’s favorite picture of the night]

[late night snack back at our hotel – sweet + spicy fries that are just amaaaazing]

[sunday brunch at the hive – that buttermilk fried chicken was out of this world]

[post-brunch stroll on the trails – a perfect end to a perfect anniversary getaway]

xo xo

You might also enjoy: Discover NWA: Mod, Modern Ozark Dining

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favorites, round 7. [walmart edition]

Things I love and want to share with you, so you can love them too.
[And yes, I do work for Walmart, so I especially want you to know about these awesome Walmart finds too!]

BIG BUDDHA: Did you know Walmart carries Big Buddha shoes and bags?! Until recently I had no clue, and now I own 3 pairs of shoes. Okay let me tell you about them – the sandals in the top left picture are so stinkin’ adorable and comfortable. I’ve seen a ton of these look-alike sandals in different retailers, but these are the most affordable at $13.

And I’m obsessed with the heels in the bottom right corner. A coworker started the trend and of course, now we all wear them on the same day all the time (case in point above). You can’t see the heel, but it’s short and chunky and totally in style. I bought them in black and tan, obviously, because they’re only $11.

The bag, pictured above the heels, is also Big Buddha and sent by my sis this morning! I love to send my family my WM finds and she sent us this one. I’ve literally almost bought this bag multiple times, but not sure why I haven’t. They have multiple colors/styles in-store.

CACTUS PLATES + BOWLS: Top right are these adorable cactus plates I found in-store for $1.50. I immediately bought two, then went back a few days later and bought two more. They’re plastic so very lightweight, but perfect for a Summer get-together, yeah?? Also worth mentioning are the amazing Better Homes and Gardens melamine plates. These are heavier and very nice. I buy their new Summer styles every year and always get compliments on them.

AVIA TANKS: Aren’t these tanks great? I’m sure you’re starting to see a trend here … when I find something I like that’s affordable, I buy in multiples. Since I’ve started exercising more it’s more fun to buy workout clothes and these are perfect. They are breathable, come in multiple colors and are just $7 each.

FADED GLORY DRESS: Okay so this is not a great picture of the dress, but I wear it ALL THE TIME. It’s sleeveless and so comfortable. It’s long enough for work, but cute enough for weekend. I just purchased another one in black. You will see me in these allllll Summer and definitely in Italy. Unfortunately they are out of most sizes in-store and online, but search your store just in case! It will be worth it, especially for only $7 each!!

OZARK TRAILS: Oh, Ozark Trails, how I love thee. (pictured top left with the sandals) We all know the Yeti trend, and yes we jumped on the bandwagon at first too. Until we found Ozark Trails at Walmart. It is EXACTLY the same as Yeti. I mean exactly. And I can say that for certain since we have both. We now have 3 coozie cans (pictured), 4 tumblers and most recently the cooler. It keeps my beer extra cold and my coffee extra hot, and I am a happy camper.

What is your favorite Walmart find?

xo xo


life lately

{rockin’ out to this || blink 182 concert}

{making this || amazing pasta from chrissy teigen’s cookbook}

{obsessing over this || “I’d rather be watching Gilmore Girls” sweatshirt}

{enjoying this || rooftop bars + a week in NYC for work}

{eating this || crawfish on crawfish on crawfish}

{drinking this in || fayetteville foamfest – our favorite event of the year}

{celebrating this || our amazing mothers on mother’s day + every day}

xo xo


Weekend Picturebook: New York, New York

New York City – the city that never sleeps, and is perfect for work AND play.

W E D N E S D A Y

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IMG_3478[Highly recommend the Circle Line Harbor Lights Cruise. You get to see so much of the city, and it was amazing. Thanks, Sister E for the recommendation!]

T H U R S D A Y 

[Great day full of meetings, then an adventure out with the team in East Village!]

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IMG_3041[Awesome restaurant Gnocco – I tried about 5 pizzas that night and mine was the best: prosciutto, arugula + parmesan. The salads were also delicious.]

Smores+A[After dinner we walked “right around the corner” to the famous Odd Fellows Ice Cream. I had banana pudding ice cream with salted caramel sauce – yummmmm! photo from oddfellowsnyc.com]

IMG_3205[Later that night Mom arrived – yay!]

F R I D A Y 

[Morning of meetings, then took the afternoon off to start our girls weekend!]

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[We felt so fancy staying in the gorgeous St. Regis on 5th Avenue]

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IMG_3476[Afternoon at the MoMa (Modern Museum of Art) browsing Van Gogh, Rothko, Matisse, Warhol and so much more. Ended with a rosé + the best onion dip ever in the statue garden]

IMG_3183[Dinner at Don Antonio’s in Hells Kitchen – more salad and pizza, that was just as amazing as the night before … maybe even a little better. Thanks for the recommendation Erin!]

IMG_3196[Tonight’s show: The Humans – 2016 Tony Award Winner for Best Play. Enjoyable, but not my favorite]

FullSizeRender[My favorite part of staying at St. Regis – after coming back from a long day of walking, there would be slippers at the ready, water on the bedside table + classical music playing in the room. Can this be real life??]

S A T U R D A Y 

IMG_3204[What a wake-up call – french-press coffee + NY Times hand-delivered. Okay maybe this was the best part!]

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IMG_3219[Breakfast and goodies at Chelsea Market]

FullSizeRender[Quick stroll on the High Line (which was incredible) before …]

Greenwich Village Food and Culture Walking Tour!
A 3-hour tour where we learned about the history, culture and architecture of the area and ate so.much.good.food. Seriously, this was amazing, and I can’t wait to do another one next time I’m in the city! The following photos are from the tour:

IMG_3269[First Stop: Joe’s Pizza aka the perfect, quintessential NYC pizza]

IMG_3282[Our favorite spot, that was so adorable – Palma. Will definitely come back here.]

IMG_3291[The Cornelia Street Cafe – where SJP and Matthew Broderick had their first date, where Eric Clapton randomly shows up the play the piano, and where you might run in to Taylor Swift because … ]

IMG_3475[she lives right next door!!! I almost died and went to heaven. This is her $40k/month rental while her home in Tribeca is being remodeled, in case you were wondering.]

IMG_3306[Rafele’s Ristorante with amazing eggplant + ricotta!]

IMG_3328[Where they filmed the opening of Friends!!]

Seriously, if you’re going to NYC you have to do one of these Food Walking Tours!!

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 12.27.34 PM[Drinks before dinner and a show at The Roof, Viceroy Hotel – how about those views of Central Park?!]

IMG_3473[Yay Matilda! Loved this movie growing up and the show was so so cute!]

S U N D A Y

IMG_3472[Officially obsessed with Levain, and will always make a stop here before heading home.]

IMG_3412[Brunch at Central Park Boathouse – this mac and cheese was everything.]

IMG_3427[Such an amazing trip with Mom I will never forget!]

xo xo

You might also enjoy photos from my last mother-daughter trip to NYC here.


Fayetteville Ale Trail

3 years ago, almost to the day, we did our very first ale trail with one of our favorite couples. This was way before the ale trail was even a thing.

I called it NWA Brew Hop, and wrote a blog post about it. (Of course.) What followed was our “Summer of Saddlebock”, and a growing love of local craft beer.

Since then, Fayetteville started the official Fayetteville Ale Trail complete with a passport to get stamped at each brewery.

Yesterday a group of us attempted the Ale Trail again. While we didn’t make it to all of the breweries (not sure we ever will), we sure did have a lot of fun and sure did drink a lot of beer.

1ST STOP : S A D D L E B O C K 

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2ND STOP : C O R E 

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3RD STOP : B L A C K  A P P L E  C R O S S I N G 

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4TH STOP : F O S S I L  C O V E

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FINAL STOP : A P P L E  B L O S S O M
[Sadly, we didn’t get any pictures here. Probably because we were so dang hungry! And the food was delicious.]

B U S  S E L F I E S
[Thanks, Abby for bringing the selfie stick! It was totally clutch.]

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IMG_2866[Final selfie with the entire bus!]

Thanks to Pinnacle Limo for the ride – $30/person for 4 hours. And shoutout to our awesome driver, Don!
Who’s ready to do the North Route next weekend??

xo xo